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Twin Mom Blog
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We've Moved!!! TwoferMom.com is live and waiting for you!


My BRAND Spankin NEW site is up!
And I can't wait to see you over there!
After all my bitching in moaning in the last post, I'm so happy it's done :).

What do you do?
1. Stop coming here and bookmark http://twofermom.com
2. Subscribe to the RSS feed over at Twofer Mom (click on the big coffee cup)
3. If you grabbed my old Twofer button replace it with this:

Twin Mom Blog
(grab the code from my sidebar ---->)

Then leave a comment for me at Twofer Mom so I know you made it! :)
Thanks for following me,
Janine

Friday, July 17, 2009

Accent Furniture Giveaway (ends Aug. 7th)

Where do you go to find discounted home accents like dining chairs, rugs, kitchen furniture, shelving and bathroom decor?

Check out AccentFurnitureDirect.com - I just did.

They have a lot of items I see in some of my favorite cataloges but the prices seem smaller while the selection is much larger!

The people of CSN stores have even offered a $20 gift certificate to one TwoferMom reader to use toward a purchase on the AccentFurnitureDirect.com site.

Check out the notNeutral collection including this swanky dinnerware.


How to enter the giveaway

Entries must be made by 11:59 August 7, 2009.

Remember to leave a separate comment with link for each entry!

1. Leave a comment

2. Grab my button for your blog's sidebar

3. Subscribe to the TwoferMom RSS feed

That's it - easy peasy!

Winner will be chosen by Random.org

What would you buy?

Janine

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Waiting is the hardest part

call waiting
Call Waiting on Flickr by Tanjila

I have to tell you a secret.
We are moving.

No, not my family... my blog...and you are coming with me (right? please say 'Right!').

That is just one of the many things keeping me from here. Actually, the fact that I'm working on a new site AND I want to save my best NEW posts for the NEW site.

So tonight I sit here waiting for a video to upload to YouTube {drumming fingers} and decided I should at least post something about the move.

It's to a new domain, hosted on SquareSpace.
It's going to have My VERY OWN LOGO and...
Some semblance of a BRAND!
My pals from Blissdom like @shortpumppreppy, @JessicaKnows, and @MooshinIndy will be so proud of me because they are very big on the whole brand thing. (Not sure I actually 'got' what they were talking about but after consulting with my cousin/ace desiger/artsy-fartsy/co-worker...I think I get it.)

And I'm so freakin excited I simply can't wait to show you!!!

Except that we have to wait {drumming fingers} {sigh}

Just like I'm waiting for that video...
Impatiently yours,
Janine

Friday, July 10, 2009

My sincere apology....

Image: Uniqlo t-shirt by Mshades

Dear Readers...or what's left of you:

I owe you an apology.
I have been very slow and unreliable in my posting to this blog.

Now, let me fill you in on all the crap that's been keeping from you:

1. I Went on vacation...


blahgity, blah, blah

2. Went to see a friend who recently had her 4th child


This makes 4 kids, age 5 and under...so it was an I'm-never-complaining-again reminder that twins ain't so tough and sometimes having twins is actually easier!

3. My dear friend's mother passed away after a long an valiant fight with breast cancer.


This was no ordinary woman. She had a closet where her clothes and accessories were lined up in rainbow order. She was a true girly-girl in a house full of boys. She was an incredible cook, a world traveler, and....a twin.

I'm not sure what was more painful.
Watching my friend bury his mother or
watching her twin struggle with the last goodbye.
(Rest in Peace Mrs. B.)


4. My 95-year old Grandfather passed away.


The hardest part of this was the reminder of what life used to be like when I was a kid. A reminder of all those who have passed on (my dad, uncle, grandmother, etc.) and a reminder of how much I miss them all.
(I love you Grampy.)

5. I acquired a company.


I had recently started working with my friend JessicaKnows on her Buzz Cooperative business. Soon after I came aboard she realized the option of going back to work looked pretty good. Her fabulous self went and got a job (I mean, within weeks!) and so began talks of me taking over Buzz. I then completely freaked out and called my friend/sidekick/frack-to-my-frick, Linda and forced her to be my partner. So, I'm now a CEO. Go figure.

And there you have it.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled google reader.
Janine

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th and the community that gives me goosebumps

I love my neighborhood.
If you are one of my neighbors reading this, consider yourself loved...even if we occasionally disagree.
I love the sidewalks.
I love that kids play outside, sometimes in the street.
I love that we can walk just a few blocks and hang out with friends.
I love that a 4th of July parade and celebration is thrown together using email and everyone's willingness to contribute.

It gives me goosebumps.

Powered by Whrrl


Jaine

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer guide

photo by G Viciano

photo by G Viciano
Looking for some great products to make your summer that much more fun and enjoyable? Looking to pamper yourself while the kids are off at camp? Or maybe you're dealing with summer bumps and bruises. Momfluence has collected some reviews of great products that you need to know about! Check out what our reviewers had to say about these great summer finds. And don't forget to stop by the Momfluence member giveaways listed at the bottom for some summer winning!

Featured Products

swimmies FishBites Swimmies - Spending time in the water is one of the most fun and exciting parts of summer. FishBites Swimmies by Swimways is a great solution to give the little ones the extra security they need in the pool, in a fun and exciting way.

carryon Delsey Helium Fusion Carryon - If you are hitting the road or flying the skies this summer for your family vacation, the Delsey Helium Fusion carry-on offers a lightweight solution for packing your travel essentials.

dosomethingdailly Do Something Daily Calendar - Tired of hearing the kids say they have nothing to do? The DoSomethingDaily Calendar offers fun and exciting suggestions for things to do on each and every day of the year. Make memories with your family, every day!

Perlabella_line_1 Perlabella Pearls - Want to combat some of the wrinkles cause by sun damage? Perlabella's Retinol solution helps to fight the signs of aging, that can be caused by excessive sun exposure and other factors.

More Summer Fun

iTurtle Playdoh Spaghetti Factory
Submergency
Nerf NFL Progrip Football

SuperSoaker 50
Boochie Game
Good For The Kids

Talking To Toddlers
Two Belles and A Bead Engraved Necklace
Cardstore
Jumeau Handbags
Staphaseptic

Member Reviews/Giveaways

Bonggamom - $50 Tiny Prints Gift Certificate
IceFairy's Treasure Chest
- KiNeSYS, Purex 3-in1, and more
Eccentric, Eclectic Woman
- Bra Barrette, Skipping Hippos
Riding With No Hands
- 20 Piece Rubbermaid Set
Consumer Queen
- FurBuster
PlusSizeMommy - Giant Hershey Bar, Zensoy, and more
MommyNotGuilty - KidBanz Sunglasses
Robyn's Online World
- Kodak Digital Frame
Simply Being Mommy
- EA Sports Active
Lattes and Life
- Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs & http://www.lattesandlife.com/2009/06/parents-choice-infant-formula-savings.html">Parent's Choice Formula Motherhood Moment - Summer Fun
A Simple Kinda Life
- Summer Soiree of Giveaways
From Cribs to Car Keys
- EcoStore $25 Gift Certificate and more
Miscellaneous Finds 4 U - Tiny Prints and more
All Momfluence guide reviews are product-provided, featured positions were purchased by vendors. Member reviews and giveaways are not associated with Momfluence.
A little retail therapy for the kids always makes the summer fly,
Janine

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Frigidaire affinity Washer and Dryer have arrived! (bring on the laundry)

They are red.
They are large.
They are high-tech.
They are freakin' beautiful and I don't care if people read this and feel sorry for me because I'm so pathetically excited about a new washer and dryer.

Frigidaire is in 'da house!

Here is the whrrl.com story I did to document D-day...delivery day.


Off to sort and wash,
Janine

Product provided by
Mom Central and
Frigidiaire

Friday, June 19, 2009

Twofer in their First Horse Show at Potomac Horse Center

M & L lookin' darn cute before their 1st horse show

Riding at Potomac Horse Center


As you may know, the Twofer have been taking riding lessons at Potomac Horse Center since September. It's a great place to start riding because they offer lessons as early as age 5 (Twofer have been asking since age 3!) and they are #1 in terms of safety and instruction. They offer a number of 'client shows' each year which are a great way to introduce kids to competition and showing horses.

Here are the details you need to know:
1. They were excited to sign up for the show...but then not very excited to participate the day of the show.
2. They looked darn cute in their white
shirts and braids/pony tails
3. L got a 2nd Place and M got a 3rd Place!
4. This was their first ever competition...you know, where not everyone wins.

L- 2nd Place with Pumpkin

Here are the things you don't really need to know but I will tell you anyway
1. They did NOT put them in the same class (whew!)
2. I'm not sure they even knew it was a competition.
3. Afterward L was upset that s
he got 2nd place (the red ribbon) and not 6th place (the pink ribbon).
4. M handled the whole getting third while her sister got a 2nd place really, really, really well.
M - 3rd Place with Minnie

First competition = food for my neuroses


The neurotic me was thinking this could be a nightmare. The logical me realized this is something they have to learn NOW. Not everyone wins. Not everyone gets the same color ribbon. Some days you will perform better than other days. But going out there and having fun DOES matter because in the end, that's what you take home - a smile.

Here's a short video showing them hanging with their friend Jenna before their events, and then L walking and M trotting.

You might also like:
First we learn to ride a horse, then a bike

Feeling proud,
Janine

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Twofer Review Diane Birch's Debut Album: Bible Belt

THANK YOU @DianeBirch and @steviegpro for coming up with music that is wooing my twins away from Hanna Montana and High School Musical!

I kiss the ground you walk on.
I throw roses in your path.
I fan you with very large palm leaves and feed you grapes.
I, in a word, owe you.
(Whatev, 2 words.)

Bible Belt is the debut CD from Diane Birch and has a great mix of music that we all enjoy. The girls ask for Rise Up every time we get in the car. I think it's the line, "Rise up little sister...", where they think Diane is talking to them. God help me if they take it seriously and start a revolution in my house...but worse things have happened.



Video of Twofer rockin Rise Up


I loved that song but it's now theirs and so I had to find a new one. My new favorite is Photograph and the surprise ending with the gospel choir is AWESOME! But I also love Valentino and Nothing But a Miracle.

For those of you who want to hear some track's to Diane's debut CD Bible Belt go here: Diane Birch Media page (ALSO see video, and read the lyrics)

If you want to purchase the album AND donate $1 to a great cause click on this little widget below:



Want your own widget to help raise money? Go to Discover and Donate Diane Birch.

And if you want to hear me sing karaoke on the road trip to BlogHer (thanks to the page with the lyrics) stay tuned!
Janine

Monday, June 15, 2009

For My Dad - Happy Flag Day!

Lavender Fields in Provence
Painting my dad made for the Twofer before the were born.

Here's what I did today:
  • 5 loads of laundry
  • Went for a run while Twofer road their bikes
  • Cleaned powder room, kitchen & vacuumed
  • Went grocery shopping
  • Took the Twofer to their end of year Daisy party
  • Cleaned some more
  • Did about 2 hours of work

Here's what I did NOT do today:
I did not cry...yet. I did not really think about how today is the 6th anniversary of my dad dying.
And by 'think' I mean having those flashbacks to the final moments in the hospital, holding his hand, by brother's and my mom's while we watched him officially die.
I did not think back on the fogginess of the funeral week.

It was foggy for so many reasons one of which is the fact that our twins were only 3 weeks old. That, my friends, sucked.

So, today I put myself to work. Consciously? Unconsciously? For lack of respect?
No, I think I just had a lot to do.
We're going to the beach in a few days.
I have lots of work and laundry and packing to do before we go.
And my dad was not the kind of person that would have wanted me moping around the house.
If anything, he would want a big party.
Maybe at the 10 year Dad. OK?

As I wrote the title of this post I felt like I was going to cry.
But now I'm ok.
And if I could go back to myself 6 years ago I would tell myself that you will feel better.
You will be able to look at pictures of Daddy and not cry.
You will be able to think back on the early days with twins and not feel completely cheated.
You will find friends who also belong to the WTF Club... whose members have experienced the irony of a joyful birth so close to a tremendous loss.
And you will be able to reflect on June 14th for what it represents - a day to remember Dad and the Flag (as a marine and war veteran I'm sure he's loving that).
But, six years later you will probably still cry.
As I am now.
But, it feels good to remember.

Janine

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How will the Frigidaire affinity washer and dryer measure up?

Everyone has a lot of laundry, I know that.
But we have the dreaded ladybug.
The thing may look cute on the outside but it's a huge, bottomless pit of dirty, stinky, moldy, icky, bacteria-thriving laundry.

The ladybug is what we use for the girls' laundry and they fill it up 1-2 times a week. It measures 21 inches high by 17 inches wide. When filled it weighs about 25 lbs.

Here's a quick video showing how much laundry fits in the ladybug and how much of the ladybug fits into my current washing machine.


Please ignore my messy laundry room. I'd like to see yours!

I weighed and measured what was left after shooting the video and I measured another 10 inches (high) of laundry weighing approximately 12 lbs (I lost my helper so this is an approximation).

I can only say, I hope the Frigidaire affinity washer and dryer can hold more!
What do you think - how much more of the ladybug will the affinity hold?

Janine

Product will be provided by:
Mom Central and
Frigidaire

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Summer Survival Guide for the part-time work-at-home parent


Because I don’t work full time, out of the office (because I do feel like I’m working full-time as in all the time!) I don’t like to pay for the Twofer to be in camp all day, every day. It’s expensive and I don’t need that much coverage. I have found a few part-time or half day camps and they will go there a few weeks this summer but not 5-days a week. Therefore I try to come up with a plan for the days they are at home and I’m at home trying to get work done. Here is what I have found to be helpful:

1. Join a pool

There will be days they just hang around in front of the TV for the morning. If the TV is the sitter for the day I will feel less guilty knowing we can go to the pool in the afternoon where they will get exercise and fresh air. Plus, my pool has Wi-Fi so I can bring my laptop and check email during adult-swim when the kids are not allowed in the pool

2. Start now scheduling weekly play dates

I'm already talking to friends in the neighborhood to see if we can trade-off having each other's kids on Thursdays. I'm going to talk to another friend about swapping afternoons where one of us can take all the kids to the pool for a few hours. On the days the play dates are at my house I may not a lot done, but my kids will be worn out and will play quietly after that. And I’ll know ahead of time the day I’ll have NO kids at my house and so I can schedule important calls and meetings on those dates.

3. Develop a schedule

The day is easier to handle when I know ahead of time when I plan to be working. I schedule it out the day before if not a week ahead.
Usually I do something like this:
8-9am breakfast
9-12 work
12-3pm break for lunch and play or pool time
3-5 work
5-8 dinner and bed routine
8-10 work

This is just a rough schedule I have so the kids know when I’ll be done and I set limits and make time for fun.

4. Break the day up into chucks

The best way to get work done with kids around you is to break the day up into smaller chunks of time. It’s much easier to come up with several activities that are each about an hour, than it is to look at 5-8 hours of time. I like to look at the day as morning, late morning, lunch, break, late afternoon, evening.

For example, my girls are still young and enjoy the 'homework' they get from school. I purchased a few work books and activity books with word games, math games, mazes, etc. that will keep them occupied for at least an hour each morning. Next I’ll suggest a board game they haven’t seen in a while. Then I’ll send them to the basement to explore their dolls and jump on the moonbounce. Finally I’ll have them come up and work on a craft that hopefully doesn’t require too much parental assistance. Last, but not least, the TV will go on for a half hour before lunch if I need it. I like to save the TV for the late afternoon whining or fighting that always happens when everyone is just a little too tired.

5. Utilize places with free Wi-Fi

The best thing is to schedule at least an hour outside of the house with the kids just for a change of scenery. So many places offer free wi-fi and our local library is my first choice. My kids love books so they will spend hours going through the shelves and playing with the puzzles. Other areas near me like downtown Rockville and Silver Spring have included a Wi-Fi signal in their redevelopment. And there’s always snuggling up in a booth at Panera Bread – me with my laptop, the girls with their coloring books.

What are you doing to survive and even enjoy the summer with your kids?
Janine

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cross Post & Coupon: Kajeet perfect phones for Kids and Parents!

Full post is available at Twofer Thumbs Up but I wanted to pass along the savings to the readers here as well...



Award winning Kajeet is the perfect cell phone service for kids, teens, and especially their parents.

Here's why:

Kajeet has No Contracts


Kajeet can be used as a pay-as-you-go ora
month-to-month plan.

Kajeet has the best Security Features


Kajeet's parental controls help parents set limits on who, when, and how much...who their child is talking/texting with, what times the phone should(not) be in use (except for emergencies) and how much money is in their Kajeet wallet.

Kids love Kajeet


Kajeet has the most popular phones including the LG Rumor, the Sanyo Katana II, and the Samsung M300 and all phones offer talk, text, and pix capabilities plus games and ringtones...as long as they have enough money in their Kajeet wallet!

Kajeet COUPON CODE!


Twofer readers can save 15% - just go to Kajeet.com and use code: TWOFER

Enjoy the savings and enjoy the summer knowing your kids will work hard to earn their Kajeet dollars!

Janine

Sponsored by
Kajeet

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why you should celebrate a birthday at Disney

Goodies from the In-Room Celebration (read more below!)

You've already seen how I'm a complete sucker for Disney Magic.
But what made this trip extra special is that the Twofer turned 6 our first day at Magic Kingdom. We had planned this to take advantage of Disney's "Free on your Birthday" promotion thinking th
is was a real twin discount!

What I quickly learned is that a birthday at Disney is more than free admission. In fact, if you pay your admission (as we di
d because we bought the dining+room+park tickets package) there are other very cool options to choose from!

Birthday celebrants get special treatment at Disney


If you decide to spend someone's birthday at Disney be sure to a) bring evidence like a driver's license or stamped birth certificate and b) TELL EVERYONE.
We told the folks during check-in and receive our first (yes, we got more than one) surprise bouquet of balloons in the roo
m.


We told the folks at the park entrance and they issued each girl a special birthday button that also had their name on it. This button alerted the staff and other patrons who promptly shouted "Happy Birthday L! Happy Birthday M!" as they walked through the park. Disney characters look for people with these special buttons and make a point to come over to them during the parades. AND, each girl received a separate dessert during lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table with a candle and lots of chocolate goodness (FREE and tasty!).

Birthday Options if you choose not to go for free


First thing we did upon entering the park was head over to guest services (same people who gave the girls their buttons). I presented their birth certificates and told them we had already paid for our park tickets but had heard there were other options. Here they are:

1. Birthday no-return Fast Pass!
Deets: this is the golden ticket o
f Fast Passes. Basically it's a separate card that you can insert into the Fast Pass machine and in return you get a ticket that allows you to get in the Fast Pass line immediately! No return means you don't have to come back to that ride in an hour or later. You get right in the FP line and for us that meant no more than a 10 min wait!

Note:
You can only use the Birthday FP on 6 rides and they give you a list of two groups to choose from (pick 3 rides from each group). However, the list had all the rides we wanted to go on at Magic Kingdom so we were thrilled. Plus, we could still use our room key to get 'regular' Fast Pass t
ickets (with return times) which we used in the early morning. Also - the birthday Fast Pass is good for up to 5 people including the birthday celebrant. That means most families can enjoy the benefits.

2. Gift card good at any Disney hotel, park or downtown Disney gift shop!
The gif card value for a child ticket was $63
.00. This was a terrific thing to have because we knew we would not have to say NO all weekend long to every item they picked up in every little shop. Not only did we not have to say NO, we didn't have to feel the pinch of the wallet coming out when we did say YES!

TWIN Discount Alert: Because we had twins we opted for one of each - one birthday Fast Pass that covere
d our entire family, and one $63.00 gift card which, if you continue reading, ended up being a treat for ME!

Disney Florist and the "In-Room Celebration"


OK, here is the 'sponsored' po
rtion of this post. It was not my intent because all of my other Disney posts have come straight from me as I surprised the girls and then planned the trip. However, I did reach out to the Disney staff and explained that I was going to be down there covering the Free on Your Birthday with my twins, and that I've been generating a lot of interest from my readers and Twitter friends, and was there anything else I should look into while I'm down there? (pretty much that exact run-on sentence too)

It was then that I was offered the In-Room Celebration to help us celebrate the girls 6th birthday. HOLY MOLY ON A CANNOLI!


This package consists of 5 huge, bright-colored boxes stuffed with goodies and left as a surprise from Mickey and the Gang (Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto).
Needless to say, we were speechless.


The girls, however, were SCREAMING with delight...at 11:30 in the evening. Whatever exhaustion they had felt from dealing with the rain, the wait for the bus, and the ride back to the hotel was gone. Just. Like. That.

If you are planing a birthday at Disney all I can say is GO FOR IT. GO for some kinds of in-room surprise, even just the balloons. My kids were thrilled the first day thinking that Mickey had snuck into their room to deliver the balloons. (They were crazed when they got this mega package!) But the surprise is what made it all so special.

And when all was said and done the girls had enough Disney goodies that my husband suggested I spend the gift card on myself. Which I did.

Read more in this series:
Disney Magic: Now I get it!
Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!
The Twofer Get a Disney Surprise


Enjoying the memories,
Janine

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A letter to my daughters for their 6th birthday

M and L 1st Birthday


Dear L & M:
With all the excitement of Disney I neglec
ted to actually wish you a happy birthday here on my blog. Mark that as just another example of how your mother is not perfect. But you already knew that.

So let me officially welcome you to your
childhood years. These are magical years. They are magical because you will enjoy magic without worrying who else believes in it. You will enjoy getting dressed up because you love the dress, and not because the other girls are doing it. You will continue to play in the dirt, with worms, and climb trees just because you can. You will discover new skills, have new experiences, and even a few disappointments. And you will learn and grow from it all.

M turning 1

These are years that you will start to test your independence...and my patience. You will say things to me that I don't want to hear (and I will let you know you've crossed a line). And yet I know you will still cuddle with me, let me read you a book, and most importantly, laugh at my jokes.

L enjoying her 1st birthday

I want you to enjoy these years. I want them to be free of stress and drama because I know what lies ahead in the murky waters of the lands they call Tween and Teen. What you learn now will help you navigate those waters. I will do my best to help you grow to be confident, respectful (of yourself and others), and hopefully love yourself for who you are.

Because I love you just the way you are.

M & L on their 6th Birthday

In six short years
you have grown so much. Already I have seen you puff yourself up with bravery to try new things, confront difficult situations, and even learn to forgive. But don't grow up too fast. Now is the time to slow it down, enjoy these childhood days, savor the magic.

Happy Birthday my little ones.
Love forever and always,
Mommy


Friday, May 29, 2009

Cross Post & Giveaway - Where I go for last minute baby gifts

This is a cross-post and giveaway from over at my Twofer Thumbs Up blog but I wanted to highlight it here because it's for my friend and neighbor.
_______________________________
Everyone say Hi to my neighbor Sharina. (((waving)))
Sharina has got a sewing machine and isn’t
afraid to use it.
Sharina, owner of BlankiesBurpsandBibs.com, i
s where I turn for last-minute baby gifts. And because I’m a last-minute kind of gal, I’m at Sharina’s house...a lot.

BlankiesBurpsandBibs.com has all kids of great things for mom, baby, and little kids including bibs, blankets, clothing, stroller tags, even hair bows!

The matching bibs and burp clothes have been a huge hit with my friends.



These little dresses are so cute!



You can even get matching dresses for your big and little girl!


This Snacker Packer is ingenious.


Tuck a small bowl inside for easy snacking without all the mess. Little hands can reach in and you can tie it up easily. A clip keeps the snacks from flying off the stroller and onto the floor. The bag is reusable, better for the environment than plastic baggies, and washable!

Do you need last minute gifts? The good news is that you don’t have to drive to Sharina's house to shop. You can shop online at www.blankiesburpsandbibs.com .

Enter to Win a Snacker Packer!



I have in my hot little hands THIS Snacker Packer (see above photo) to give away to one lucky reader. Here’s what you need to do:

{Go To Twofer Thumbs Up to enter}

Contest open to US residents in the 48 contiguous states, and ends June 10, 2009 at 11:59pm. Winner will be chosen using Random.org and notified via email or Twitter and will have 3 days to claim the prize.


Good luck!
Janine

Product supplied by
Blankies, Burps & Bibs

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mamapedia.com is like an Encyclopedia for Moms

Who do you turn to when you have questions and concerns relating to parenting? Most of us ask other parents – whether it’s our own mothers, or friends that have kids.

Now what do you do when you have a question at 4:00 am? Some us still call our moms and best friends and wake them up. Another resource to try is Mamapedia.com.


This site contains a wealth of information for moms, from moms. I tested it out recently with this question: What are good books for first graders?
Someone had recently asked that question (in April) and there were over 40 answers that I read through!
Some of the books mentioned were:

1. Cam Jansen

2. Henry & Mudge
3. Magic Treehouse series


Mamapedia.com was developed from the responses collected on Mamasource.com that were categorized and organized and made into a searchable database. Questions range from parenting questions about newborns to health-related topics, and even house and garden questions!

What I like is the range and number of responses. For medical questions, you aren’t weeding through too much medical jargon that may scare you. The most comforting thing is that it’s other moms simply sharing from their personal experiences.

Check out Mamapedia.com and then let me know what question you asked!

Janine


This post sponsored

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Disney Magic - NOW I get it. I get it and I love it. Here's why...

I believe in Disney magic.
There. I said it.

And, I cried like a baby during the Wishes Fireworks, but more on that later.

Disney Twofer

As you know from my earlier posts we planned a trip to Disney World for the Free on Your Birthday promotion to celebrate the Twofer's 6th birthday. Last week we flew down Wednesday and only had Thursday and Friday to spend at Magic Kingdom but that was enough to catch the bug.


If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed some tweets go by with the hashtag #disneytwofer – that was me and the folks following along on the journey. And it was quite a journey. I may have to break this up into 2 different.

The Magic of Disney at the hotel

OK, there was definitely a line and some time spent waiting for the Disney Magical Express bus. But at least we didn’t have to wait with our big bags, just our carry-on bags. We got to the hotel (we chose Pop Century) and were able to check in right away and enjoy the pool. Later on, our bags were delivered to our room – voila!
Other highlights:
  • The Dining plan felt magical because we didn’t feel the pinch of pulling out our wallets each time we ate.
  • I told the front desk we were celebrating our twin’s birthday and there were balloons and Mickey photos in the room when we returned after dinner!
  • The pool was open until midnight and what is more magical than swimming on a warm Florida night?

Magic at The Magic Kingdom

Rides


On each ride I allowed myself to really see things from a child’s perspective and I’m telling you I remembered. I remembered how excited I was at age 5 to climb aboard Dumbo, and wind through It’s a Small World. I allowed myself to really feel like I was flying over Never Never Land with Peter Pan and witness a battle on Pirates of the Caribbean. I did something I haven’t done in a long time…I used my imagination. And I liked it.

The Castle


I have ALWAYS wanted to go in
that castle. The one way I knew I could get in there was to make reservations to have lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table and seeing as it was the Twofers’ birthday, I knew they would love it too. So this is what it’s like:

First we met and took photos with Cinderella – fabulous blue dress, white gloves, and all.


Then we headed upstairs for our meal and a number of other princesses stopped by our table for autographs and pictures. Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Jasmine were gracious and charming. The dining area had big chairs, wooden beams, and large windows with a view of the park. The food was surprisingly good and the desserts were deeeelish. Throw in some wishing stars and wands and you’ve got Disney magic…bippity, boppity, boo!


After an enormous lunch and all the excitement We headed back to the hotel for a break and returned in the evening for more rides, dinner, and those darn….Fireworks.

The Magical Fireworks


Yes, I cried during the Wishes celebration fireworks. But here’s what was swirling through my head: I remember thinking about what a great day we just had and how good it felt to be able to share this with my girls. MY girls who are no longer babies but big 6 year olds. I thought about all that is wrong in this world, and how lucky I was to have my family safe, healthy, and experiencing this together.

I thought of the Make-A-Wish kids who often get trips to Disney World and what their parents feel as they watch those same fireworks night after night. And then I thought of how my dad, who passed away just weeks after the Twofer were born, would have f-ing LOVED the
whole damn thing.



What I realize now is that it was not just the fireworks that brought me to tears. It was the combination of fireworks + touching music about wishes + lack of sleep that most likely caused me to tear up (ok, bawl).

But what happened when we got back to the room was truly magical.
And that you will have to come back to read in my next post…Why you should celebrate a birthday at Disney.

Read more in this series:
Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!
The Twofer Get a Disney Surprise


Wearing my mouse ears,
Janine

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why you should care about the Frigidaire Mother Load Index


Did you know according to the Frigidaire Motherload Index* moms spend on average 28 hours per month washing dishes, and only 7 hours a month showering!

You moms with newborns get a break here, but people, come on! We are living in our own stench while the dishes are sparkling clean?!?!?!

How about this:
Moms
spend an average of 18 hours a month doing laundry vs. just 9 hours a month exercising.

Or this one:
We moms spend an average of 52 hours a month on meal prep vs. just 12 hours a month cuddling with our spouses.

No wonder we're so cranky!

And this one breaks my cold, dishpan, laundry-working, meal-prepping heart!
Moms spend an average of 7 more hours a month getting kids together to get out the door than playing with them.


As my friend Linda would say, {le sigh}. It's downright depressing.

This is why Frigidaire created their new line of time-saving appliances.
Just some of the features include:
  • Quick Preheat means you're good to go in less than 6 minutes.
  • Effortless Dry means no more towel drying after the dishwasher.
  • Effortless Reheat means reheating almost anything at the touch of a button.
  • Time Wise Technology means the washer and dryer end at the same time.

Enter to win an Entire Suite of New Frigidaire appliances!
Go to The Frigidaire Motherload site and register.
Click on the 5 Things tab and list the 5 things you would do with an extra hour.
You can also tell 5 friends for another chance to win! Contest ends June 30, 2009.


*The Frigidaire Motherload Index is based on an online consumer index fielded nationwide to 1170 US females, ages 25 - 50, who are married and have 2+ children in the household by NPD.

And I want to know....who showers only 7 hours a month? C'mon, own it like a Mother!
Janine

Sponsored by:



Monday, May 18, 2009

The Frigidaire More Me-Time Guarantee (aka: What I fumbled saying in that WUSA interivew)

Y'all saw the interview I did on WUSA 9 morning news, right?
Y'all saw how I sortof hijacked the segment rambling on about the Frigidaire time-saving guarantee? (My apologies to Liz from Washington Family Magazine and Peggy Fox - I blame my nerves for not being able to spit it out!)

Anyway, I thought I should take a minute to actually explain The More Me-Time Guarantee.

Here it is straight from Frigidaire:
"When you purchase three or more select Frigidaire appliances , you can qualify for the Frigidaire "More Me-Time" Guarantee by signing up at time of purchase. If you feel your "me-time" hasn't increased by at least eight hours a month, you can return the appliances to their place of purchase within 30 days and get your money back."


So you see, I got a few things right. I got that you need to purchase 3 Frigidaire appliances and I think I had that number '8' in there somewhere.

But my point about the More Me-Time Guarantee was this:


Frigidaire is so confident in the new Affinity Washer and Dryer that yes, they are givin
g mouthy me one to test drive for free. I will be reporting to you what really happens (weights, measures, etc.) and how the Frigidaire washer and dryer work including all the time-saving features.
What's more, Frigidaire is soooo confident in their new line of time-saving appliances that they are offering a guarantee! So you see, they are giving you something too!

Want the chance to win your own Frigidaire Affinity Washer and Dryer?


Take
the Frigidaire Daily Dare to find a little more Me-Time everyday.
These are fun and you can see others are already enjoying more me time! (At least enough Me-Time to hit the Frigidaire site, log in and hit take the dare!) Each time you take a dare (once a day) you'll be entered to win your own Affinity Washer and Dryer.

Other Frigidaire Posts:
I'm a Frigidaire Test Drive mom!

Up Next:
The
Motherload Survey and how they came up with that guarantee
Enter to win and Entire Suite of Frigidaire time-saving appliances!
Who else is on the Mom Test Drive team?


Janine


Sponsored by:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mom's Night Out - who makes dinner?

Baked Pasta Primavera via Unilever

I'm just wondering if my fellow mom's feel the 'need' to arrange dinner plans (either cook or order) when they go out for a night with girlfriends.

Do I plan the meals even when it's my Girls Night Out?


Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
Usually, I do.
It's not a guilt thing...these day
s it's a save-money thing. I'd rather cook something ahead of time that my husband can serve to himself and the kids because I know in the end it's a lot cheaper than the pizza guy.
First, pizza around here can be expensive.
Second, the Mister can eat like a growing teenager...for that matter, the Twofer often eat like growing teens so Pizza doesn't get us very far from the 'I'm huuuungry' whine.


Unilever and Mom Select to the rescue!


For National Mom's Night Out I was the lucky recipient of a Unilever Making Life Better Family Fun Package that
contained all kinds of goodies to make an easy, tasty, and filling meal for my family. This included:
  • Family Fun Book with tips for easy and affordable meals
  • Package of Lipton Tea (how did they know my husband LOVES homemade iced tea?)
  • Lipton Beefy Onion Mix (great for burgers or meat loaf)
  • Knorr Cheddar Broccoli Rice
  • I Can't Believe it's Not Butter
  • Bertoli Frozen Entree (can't get any easier for Chicken Parm)
and a few more things. The only thing I needed to add was a veggie!

My Mom's Night Out


Ironically, I did not go out on National Moms Night Out but I DID go out that Saturday night...a little too late...to celebr
ate my friend Allison's birthday.
My tweets from the bar and dance floor looked like this:

BTW - the old dude RAWKED

I'm sure there is photographic evidence of my unique dancing skillz (anyone remember the 'running man'?) but none of my friends are savvy enough to get those up on Twitter, etc. Facebook may be another issue.

Working on my moves,
Janine

Product provided by
MomSelect

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Help! Disney World Questions - Need Your Input!


So first I want to thank my travel agent/stress reliever/ Twitter friend @DailyJen who also has a very funny blog. I bought the Jet Blue tickets on a whim one day when talking with my friend Barb (otherwise known as my Flip Videographer from the Yanni Voices concert).

Anyway, Jen saw me tweeting about Disney and came to my rescue! That is, if everything goes well...no sweat, right Jen?

But even after hours on the phone with her answering hundreds if not thousands of questions...I still have more.

I have decided to give Jen a rest and see if you, my faithful friends, readers, and advice-givers can help me muddle through the crazy World of Disney.

(PS: we are going Wed-Sat. but only Thurs and Fri at Magic Kingdom)

Explain to me again Le Fast Pass?


This really only pertains to Friday since I've heard we'll get some ultimate Fast Pass on Thursday which is the girls actual birthday and we'll be foregoing the FREE part of "free on your birthday" since we paid for the tix in the package, blah, blah, blah.

What rides should we stop at first for a Fast Pass?
How many can I get at one time?

Crocs or sneakers?


I'm going with sneaks but you tell me.

6-year olds in strollers??? Won't people make fun of me?


Apparently there are Disney issued strollers that look more like jogging strollers. Still, my kids haven't been in a stroller since they were 3. I'm not kidding. I don't even know if they'll WANT to sit in one. A wheelchair, definitely! A stroller? I'm not so sure.

But I've heard from people that especially since we've only got 2 days, they will be very long days and as parents, we'll appreciate cutting down on the crankiness by having one of these.

What say you?

Must-See places in Downtown Disney?


We have dinner reservations for the first night but what else should we see while we are there? It will probably be our only time since we'll be at Magic Kingdom the other two days and nights.

Besides the rides, what are other Must-Sees at Magic Kingdom?


Note - we are having lunch at Cinderella's Castle (eee! I just peed a little I'm so excited for that) and so we'll meet some princesses there.
What about places like Ariel's Grotto or other little hideaway places?
Whatever you can tell me....


OK, that's it for now. I welcome any and all advice! Thanks!
Dreaming of Mickey,
Janine

Related Posts: Our Disney Surprise Video

Monday, May 11, 2009

My WUSA 9 segment. How did I do?

I can only tell you that I was winging this from the minute I said 'yes'. I wasn't entirely sure of the topic other than I was there as a mom blogger. I wasn't sure what to wear. I ran into terrible traffic to the point that I thought I would miss the segment entirely. And I got lost, a little, on the way. Don't ask as it's a straight shot down Wisconsin Ave. but I drove right past it.

Anywhoo, here's the piece. Let me know how I did!

WUSA9 segment:




Thanks,
Janine

Related Posts:
Disney Surprise
Help! Disney World Questions
I'm a Frigidaire Test-Drive Mom
Frigidaire More Me-Time Guarantee